Phone Tag 

Curses, Foiled Again
Police charged Brent Nathan Frick, 26, with stealing a safe containing $69,000 in gold coins from a home in Coopersburg, Pa., after a witness who knew Frick saw him bust open the safe in a nearby parking lot. Allentown’s Morning Call reported the witness noticed some of the papers in the safe had another person’s name and notified police. State troopers found four more stolen safes in Frick’s motel room.

•  Four thieves broke into 16 boats at a marina in Cambridgeshire, England, and made off with luxury electronics items, two electric generators, a large amount of alcohol and a captain’s cap. The Daily Times attributed a quick arrest to their attempting their getaway in a flat-bottomed punt boat with a top speed of 3 mph. Police on the riverbank used night-vision goggles to locate the pole-pushing pirates, aged 26 to 17.

Phone Tag
Orlando hotel guest Lisa Kantorski answered the phone and told her husband Mark, a deputy sheriff, it was the desk clerk informing them of a gas leak in their room. Relaying the caller’s instructions, she told her husband to smash the window with a toilet tank, break the mirror on the wall, use a lamp to bash in the wall to reach the trapped man on the other side and throw the mattress out the second-floor window. The Orlando Sentinel reported the Kantorskis were about to jump to safety when Hilton Garden Inn manager Samir Patel knocked on their door in response to a noise complaint. He informed them there was no gas leak and pegged the damage at $5,000. “When I broke the window, I got suspicious,” Mark explained. “It didn’t seem right, but Lisa was panicking, so I continued.”

The Sentinel noted this was another in a rash of phone pranks across the country. Among the others:

•  A caller posing as a sprinkler-company employee persuaded an Arkansas motel worker to cause more than $50,000 in damage as part of a “test” of the motel’s emergency alarms. An employee of a Nebraska Hampton Inn believed a caller who said to pull the fire alarm, then called back and said the only way to silence the alarm was to break the lobby windows. The employee sought help from a nearby trucker, who drove his rig through the front door.

Plot Lines
An unidentified driver was seriously injured after he lost control of his sport utility vehicle in front of the police station in Penn Hills, Pa., and sheared a utility pole that was cemented into the ground. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that when repair crews arrived to restore power, a hose burst on one of the trucks, spilling automotive fluid onto the roadway. A hazardous-materials team was called to clean up the spill, but a worker using a jackhammer ruptured a water line near the pole. Another crew had to be dispatched to repair the water line, prompting police chief Howard Burton to announce the road would be closed most of the day.

• After his arrest for hitting a car in Lockport, N.Y., Nicholas Sparks, 25, admitted he’d been talking and texting on his cell phone at the same time while driving a flatbed truck with two motorcycles on the bed and two other vehicles in tow. Niagara County Chief Deputy Steven Preisch told the Buffalo News that after the collision, the flatbed went through a yard and sideswiped a house, which was then hit by one the towed vehicles. The truck continued through a privacy fence and came to a stop in a swimming pool. Homeowner Brad Kanel said cleanup took more than five hours, but the hardest part was finding a truck big enough to pull the flatbed out of the pool.

Stating the Obvious
Police responding to a call of a person with a knife at a beauty pageant on Chicago’s West Side, arrested Leroy Tinch, 28, one of the contestants, who the Chicago Sun-Times said resembles a woman and appears to have breast implants and a tattoo of paw prints on his chest. Police Lt. John Franklin said Tinch used a trophy to beat pageant judge, Sebastian Latta, 37, shattering his jaw in three places. “Apparently, I must have voted for the wrong person,” Latta told a responding officer.

Compiled from the nation’s press by Roland Sweet. Authentication on demand. Submit items, citing date and source, to P.O. Box 8130, Alexandria VA 22306.

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